From the hills of the Appalachian region to the copper stills of those keeping the illegal, and sometimes dangerous, tradition alive, moonshine has been a big part of American drinking history. Known by many names—moonshine, white lightning, mountain dew, Tennessee white whiskey—this potent alcohol is sure to make you see colors!
And, in Spencer Kope's Collecting the Dead, his character Magnus “Steps” Craig has synesthesia and sees unique colors left behind by everyone—something he calls “shine.”
So, for this week's Pick Your Poison—where we create a cocktail inspired by a recently published mystery, thriller, or crime novel—we do our best to make YOU see colors with a strong “The Moon's Shine” cocktail, inspired by Spencer Kope's Collecting the Dead!
The colors, Duke—the colors!
Collecting the Dead by Spencer Kope is a debut novel that introduces Magnus “Steps” Craig, a member of the FBI's Special Tracking Unit (Available June 28, 2016).
Magnus “Steps” Craig is part of the elite three-man Special Tracking Unit of the FBI. Called in on special cases where his skills are particularly needed, he works as a tracker. The media dubs him “The Human Bloodhound,” since Steps is renowned for his incredible ability to find and follow trails over any surface better than anyone else. But there's a secret to his success. Steps has a special ability—-a kind of synesthesia—-where he can see the 'essence' of a person, something he calls 'shine,' on everything they've touched. His ability is known to only a few people—-his father, the director of the FBI, and his partner, Special Agent Jimmy Donovan.
When the remains of a murdered woman are found, Steps recognizes the shine left by the murderer from another crime scene with a physically similar victim. And he uncovers the signature at both scenes—-the mark of a sad face. At the same time, another killer, one Steps has dubbed Leonardo and has been trying to track for over ten years, appears again, taunting Steps. But while Steps tries to find a clue that will lead him to Leonardo, the case of the Sad Face Killer heats up. The team uncovers eleven possible victims: missing women who fit the same pattern. Using his skill and the resources of the Bureau, it is a race against time to find the killer before it's too late.
PICK YOUR POISON
“The Moon's Shine”
– 1 tablespoon of honey (I prefer to use honey syrup—-it mixes better)
– juice of 1/2 a lemon
– 1 1/2 oz. moonshine
– 1/2 cup of sweet tea (or unsweet if you prefer)
– 1 slice of lemon (garnish)
– sprig of mint (garnish)
– 1 0z. sour mix
How to make the cocktail:
- Juice lemon into the bottom of a glass.
- Dissolve honey or pour in honey syrup.
- Pour in moonshine and stir well.
- Top glass with ice.
- Fill with sweet tea.
- Garnish with lemon and mint.
So, make yourself “The Moon's Shine” (maybe not 2 or 10 this time—it is moonshine, by the way), and then, make sure to pick up your copy of Collecting the Dead by Spencer Kope!
To learn more or order a copy, visit:
Spencer Kope is the Crime Analyst for the Whatcom County Sheriff's Office. Currently assigned to Detectives Division, he provides case support to detectives and deputies, and is particularly good at identifying possible suspects. In his spare time he developed a database-driven analytical process called Forensic Vehicle Analysis (FVA) used to identify the make, model and year range of vehicles from surveillance photos. It's a tool he's used repeatedly to solve crimes. Collecting the Dead is his first novel. One of his favorite pastimes is getting lost in a bookstore, and he lives in Washington State.